Banner Health News Center  

Hospital tests device to alert patients before heart attack


MESA, Ariz. (Jan. 16, 2014) – Banner Heart Hospital is involved in a research study of a new implantable cardiac defibrillator device with new specialized monitoring and alert features, designed to reduce the time it takes patients to get to the Emergency Department when they have a heart attack.

With the same size as a standard pacemaker/defibrillator, the device – called Fortify ST, by St. Jude Medical – is implanted in the chest region with wiring to the heart to detect changes in the heart’s rhythm. Its warning system is designed to vibrate in the patient’s chest, sometimes hours before its user experiences symptoms, providing more time to get to the nearest Emergency Department when a heart attack is imminent.

“This type of technology, which could enable patients to receive treatment before their heart experiences severe damage, could have a tremendous impact in saving hundreds of thousands of lives in America each year,” said Dr. Andrew Kaplan, cardiologist/electrophysiologist and principal investigator of the study at Banner Heart Hospital.

When a person has a heart attack, every minute counts. He or she immediately starts losing muscle in the heart. As more time passes, the strength of the heart reduces along with its ability to continue beating. Along with notifying the patient of an impending cardiac issue, the device is also built to act as a traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillator; it delivers a jolt of electricity when needed to treat cardiac arrhythmia.

The research study involves analyzing the device’s accuracy in detecting acute coronary events, such as myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, one of every five deaths in the U.S. is attributable to coronary heart disease.

Banner Heart Hospital is recruiting patients for the program. To qualify, patients must have documented coronary artery disease and an indication for an ICD implantation or pulse generator change.

For more information about the study, please call (480) 854-5077.

About Banner Heart Hospital
Banner Heart Hospital is a Truven Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital, and is ranked among the Phoenix area’s “Best Hospitals” for specialty services in heart care, heart surgery and geriatrics by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital’s Emergency heart services, in conjunction with Banner Baywood Medical Center, received Chest Pain Center accreditation in 2011. Services at Banner Heart Hospital include open heart surgery, vascular care, interventional cardiology, heart failure and heart rhythm treatment, women’s heart care and cardiac rehabilitation. For more information, visit

Access a St. Jude Medical electronic media kit for the Analyze ST device. (Click on the international tab at the top for images).

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